A Visually Captivating Magic Ball 2

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle

In today’s crowded marketplace of games, it takes a lot to rise above the noise, and in Magic Ball 2’s case, the game delivers.  There are plenty of brick breaker-type games in the iTunes store, but MB2 brings a new and somewhat refreshing take to the category.  From the developers of Treasures of Montezuma, the game is offers eye candy with a good amount of challenge and fun.  The controls can be quirky, but after some practice, you’ll be a master of this domain.

With 100 levels each unique in design and obstacles, MB2 offers a lot of tilt-based gameplay within a 3D environment.

The first thing you notice is the high-energy soundtrack that really adds to the feel of MB2 along with the colorful menus and fun looking graphics.  Let’s put it this way, you have penguins, sheep, and moose all in one game and it works.  In typical brick breaker fashion, your objective is to use your paddle to bounce balls off of blocks.  The difference with MB2 is that the blocks are part of a 3D structure which can be buildings, towers, rocket ships, just about anything you can imagine.  Another difference is that you’re simply clearing the board…most of the time you don’t need to even clear the board.  Your task is to locate the medal which can only be done by destroying blocks.  Once you secure the medal, you progress to the next level.  To launch a ball, you have to shake your device which may not appeal to some, but it certainly detract from the gameplay.

MB2 offers a load of powerups and weapons, which are as colorfully unique as the environments.  Some of these include Simpleball (literally a ball with a propeller), Smashing Ball (a ball with spikes) Yo-Yo (which ties a string from the ball to the paddle).  Activated by shaking the device, you also have weapons including Bazooka, Machine Gun, and Cannon, which allow you fire missiles at blocks and structures.  Of course, these are only temporary, and a little timer appears that shows how long the powerup and weapon are effective.  It’s a lot easier than looking a status bar shrink down.  These powerups and weapons appear after hitting blocks and will travel in cases waddle towards you.  It can either be distracting or fun to watch.

As I mentioned, you control your paddle via tilt, and there is a slight learning curve since it can somewhat sensitive.  Other basics include a save game function as well as the option to turn off the soundtrack and sound effects.  The devs should consider adding sensitivity for the tilt as well an option for touch controls which would broaden the appeal.  Global online scores would be a nice addition as well.

If you’re in the brick breaker games or just looking for a new casual, yet visually great looking game, MB2 is worth a look.  The devs obviously have a creative streak as they’ve shown with Treasures of Montezuma and now with MB2.  Give this a try and you may be pleasantly surprised.


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